chapter  6
13 Pages

Isolated Bodies, Isolated Spaces

Anorexia and Bulimia in Women’s Autobiographical Narratives
WithBarbara Grüning

Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that are clinically classified as a mental illness that affects the perception that the individuals have of themselves and their bodies. By repeating certain cultural practices, such as dieting, vomiting, and purging, these individuals not only strenghten their control of their body, but also modify the ways they perceive and experience the different socio-cultural and physical spaces of their everyday life through their bodies. This chapter analyzes twenty-one autobiographies written by Italian women from different socio-cultural backgrounds who experienced anorexia and/or bulimia in the last three decades. The analysis highlights how anorexic/bulimic women, by interacting with other social actors, redefine the understanding of both their body and their social relationships as inscribed in specific spatialized social structures.